The sun is shining in Christopher O'Hearn's cell.
If he weren't so angry, it would almost be funny. He hadn't seen the sun, not even a holographic impression of the sun, in a long, long time. To see it now, after so much pain, after so much loss and chaos, was the ultimate insult.
He had reminded himself of the falseness of the images often the past few days, usually by throwing a fist at the wall, reassured by the sharp thud of his knuckles against what appeared to be thin air.
Now, though, Chris was not punching. He was not yelling or swearing or threatening, all of which he had done frequently, much to his Andalite guards' dismay. The liaison they sent in to calm him was a joke -- another insult added to injury, and she never returned after her first failed attempt to communicate with him.
No, now he was sitting, back against one wall, knees pulled up to his chest, head buried in his hands. His fingers were curled against his scalp, buried deep in his thick, strawberry blonde hair. I need a haircut. The seemingly random and innocuous thought sends a stab of pain through him, and he feels emotion welling up in his throat again.
Tess... Where was she? His partner, the mother of his unborn children. Every time he tries to imagine her circumstances he has to push the thought away. There were too many what ifs. What if the chaos had pushed her into labor? What if she was injured? What if she hadn't made it at all?
"Don't you ****ing dare," Chris whispers to himself. He doesn't want to even begin thinking about that. The last he had seen of Tess, Keslin had been telling her to go, run, get to safety while he found Reven and helped with the evacuation. He never found Reven. He never saw Tess again.
He swallows, hugging his knees closer to his chest. If Keslin were here, he'd know what to do. That thought had been circulating his thoughts more and more lately. Keslin had always been the leader, the negotiator, the business-person. But his Yeerk friend had been forced to leave him, and before Chris could protest Keslin had been shuttled away to God-****ing-knows-where. The thought of what the Andalites might do to him sends a shiver up Chris' spine.
The worst part of it, by far, is that the Andalites actually thought they were saving him. Imbeciles, Chris thinks, feeling another bout of rage coming on.
With nowhere to direct his anger he glares at the ground, letting it simmer slowly. Irritable, impatient, and desperate for news he waits, having no other options.
Keslin's own thoughts are, unsurprisingly, not far from Chris', although he has an additional concern. The severe shortage of Kandrona has left his worries scattered, and they flicker in and out of his thoughts in a desperate, almost manic sort of way. He hasn't been this weak, this starved, in years. Still, despite the overwhelming hunger, his fears continue to circle back around to Chris and Tess -- especially Tess. And to Reven, who he was unable to locate on base. And to his people, the nomadic rebel pirates who he had led for almost a decade. And to--
No, don't, he chastises himself. That was a direction his thoughts could not wander. No matter how hungry he was, no matter how much pain he was in.
How many had survived? How many had been shoved, like him, into an insultingly small box where they had been starved, tortured, and treated like less than animals by the Andalites? And, almost more important to him than his fellow Yeerks, was the question of what happened to the humans they inhabited.
Part of him, a small part, recognizes the inevitability of their situation. How many times had they had a near brush with death, with torture, with their enemies? How many times had they barely escaped? But Keslin had never thought the end of their security would come from the Andalites rather than the Empire.
Trapped within the confines of his painfully small, painfully inadequate tub, Keslin shivers in pain, hoping that when they come for him, as he knows they will, they will at least give him a quick death.